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Maersk Line challenges rivals with North-South growth strategy

Maersk Line is launching an offense on the North-South trades where the carrier plans to expand. But rivals such as Hamburg Süd and Hapag-Lloyd are banking on the same markets following new acquisitions and alliances.

In early 2015, Maersk Line will launch a large-scale offense on its key routes to and from South America and Africa, among other destinations. For several years, the carrier's profits on the so-called North-South trades have been better than Maersk Line's biggest business on the East-West trades including Asia-Europe, Asia-US and Europe-US, where the carrier has deployed 42 percent of its entire fleet capacity. However, this business has operated at a loss since 2007-2008, except for one year.

But these North and Southbound trades could also look like a battleground going forward.

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